The ruling Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi was sacked by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for a “serious breach” of the ministerial code amid criticism over his tax arrangements.
Zahawi allegedly settled a multimillion-dollar unpaid tax bill while he was in charge of Treasury. Sunak, in a letter to the 55-year-old, said that his government “would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.” The party leader has not issued any response.
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Nadhim Zahawi founded polling website YouGov along with Stephan Shakespeare in May 2000. He acknowledged a dispute with tax authorities, but argued his error was “careless and not deliberate.” As per media reports, the settlement came to almost 5 million pounds ($6.2 million).
Zahawi led the UK Treasury from July 2022 to September 2022 when Boris Johnson was prime minister.
Sunak last week ordered his ethics advisor Sir Laurie Magnus to launch a probe into the matter.
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In his letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Laurie said Mr Zahawi confirmed that a dispute with HMRC had been resolved in August 2022.
“I want to commend Mr Zahawi for his willingness to assist with my inquiry. I also fully appreciate the pressures faced by Ministers as they address the complex issues of government and the difficulties they encounter in balancing the demands of their personal lives and their ministerial responsibilities,” the letter further read.
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“These factors, however, cannot mitigate my overall judgement that Mr Zahawi’s conduct as a Minister has fallen below the high standards that, as Prime Minister, you rightly expect from those who serve in your government.”
Nadhim Zahawi family: Who is wife Lana Fawzi Jamil Saib, father Hareth and grandfather Nadhim al-Zahawi?
Nadhim Zahawi was born on June 2, 1967 in Iraq. His family fled the Saddam Hussein’s regime and moved to the UK when he was nine years old.
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Zahawi is married Lana Saib. Her full name is listed as Lana Fawzi Jamil Saib. As per The Sun, she was born in May 1996 and is 26 years old. She is a director in Zahawi & Zahawi Ltd.
Zahawi’s father, Hareth, is a businessman and a director of Balshore Investments. His grandfather Nadhim al-Zahawi was Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq from 1959 to 1960, and Minister of Trade.